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Our expert hoops handicappers Dan Canova gives his best picks for today's games

In Thursday’s NBA games, LeBron James finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 128-113 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Anthony Davis contributed 16 points and 11 boards in the win.

For the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal had a game-high 36 points with eight assists in a 124-112 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here are Today’s NBA Picks:


Denver Nuggets @ New Orleans Pelicans

  • Since the 2017-18 NBA season, the New Orleans Pelicans have a 7-2 against the spread record in night games against the Denver Nuggets. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

New Orleans Pelicans rookie sensation Zion Williamson made his highly-anticipated debut on Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, and he didn’t disappoint. Williamson scored 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and led the Pelicans on a late run, but they came up just short in a 121-117 loss.

The Pelicans are seeking a season sweep of the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. They came away with a 122-107 win on Halloween night in their first meeting, and at Christmas, New Orleans pulled out a 112-100 victory in Denver.

Look for Williamson to add to the fun in their successes against the Nuggets. Roll with the Pelicans minus the three and a half here.

2u – Pelicans (-3.5) @ -105

Houston Rockets @ Minnesota Timberwolves

  • The Houston Rockets have a 30-40 against the spread record in games played during January since the 2015-16 NBA season. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are desperate for a victory after losing seven straight games.

On Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls, Karl-Anthony Towns piled up 40 points, six rebounds and two assists, and Andrew Wiggins contributed 25 points, nine assists and five boards, but the Timberwolves fell 117-110 at the United Center in Chicago.

The Wolves plus the five points here is the pick. I like the points at home, but I’m not sure that they are capable of beating a playoff-worthy opponent in the Houston Rockets. Take Minnesota on the spread.

1u – Timberwolves (+5) @ -105

Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs

  • Since the 2015-16 NBA season, the San Antonio Spurs have an 11-3 against the spread record in night games against the Phoenix Suns. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

The San Antonio Spurs are 43 games into the regular season, and they shockingly are three games below .500, and they are currently on the outside looking in the loaded Western Conference. It’s shocking because the Spurs have played the playoffs in 22 straight seasons, which is by far the longest streak in NBA history. The second highest was seven consecutive seasons.

Well, the Spurs have quietly put together a three-game winning streak, which includes victories over the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns and most recently the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

In their game against the Suns on Monday, Derrick White finished with a season-high 25 points and Bryn Forbes added 24 for the Spurs in a 120-118 win in Phoenix, despite the Suns getting 37 points from Devin Booker.

In their win over the Pelicans, LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 32 points and 14 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan had 20, Dejounte Murray chipped in 13, White had 12 and Forbes had 11 as the Spurs had five total players finish in double figures in a 121-117 win.

The Spurs at home minus the four points is the pick here. Feel confident taking San Antonio in this matchup.

1u – Spurs (-4) @ -105

By Dan Canova

Article Author

Expert handicapper known for his deep knowledge of all things NBA and his ability to pick winners.


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